Stab Magazine | The Pick Up: Why The Triple Crown Is The Most Important QS Stop

The Pick Up: Why The Triple Crown Is The Most Important QS Stop

In the past five years, 80 percent of CT qualifiers have had a Triple Crown even in their top five QS scores.

vtcs // Dec 20, 2018
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

When it’s Vans Triple Crown season, cliches like “proving ground”, “Mecca”, “deadliest”, “hi-fi”, “mice vs men”, and “make or break” get tossed around, a lot.

This is for good reason. So much so, that we don’t cringe at these platitudes but celebrate them; the North Shore is what solidifies a professional surfer. As Sunny Garcia once put it, “It’s what separates the kittens from the lions.” During the seven-ish weeks the tour is in town, the shore radiates with broken boards, egos and testosterone induced athleticism; the sand rumbles to a crescendo of Pacific power.

Watching men paddle into second reef Pipe roll-ins from the sand is a magnificent feat, there’s no better viewing in surfing. You can identify each body as they slide into tubes, and hold your breathe until they come out with the spit or down with the lip. And, that song remains the same from Log Cabins to Rocky Point; the eyes that control the surf world are watching, and everyone is taking notes.

A good Triple Crown showing holds more than merit. It’s what will take a virtually unknown surfer and make him a household name – think Wade Carmichael in 2015.

Recently, Jesse Mendes, who has a large Brazilian following just gained worldwide notoriety with his Triple Crown title. He joins the likes of Andy Irons, Sunny Garcia, Joel Parko, John John Florence, Gabby Medina, Julian Wilson, Kelly Slater, Derek Ho, Michael Ho, Seabass and more as one of the few to dominate the competition from Haleiwa to Sunset.

“Winning the Triple Crown is huge for me,” Jesse told Stab. “I have been coming to Hawaii for 12 seasons now, and putting so much time in the water. So all of this work paid off. Not just that, but it’s hard to believe that my name is now amongst the names of my surfing heroes being Kelly, John, Andy, Sunny, Mike and D-Ho… It’s a dream come true.”

The Triple Crown is massively important to qualifying for the world stage. In the past five years, 80 percent of CT qualifiers have had a Triple Crown event in their top five QS scores. Unlike the pitter-patter slop that plagues the QS, Hawaii is different. As Tanner Gudang told us, “The waves we surf in The Triple Crown are so unlike the rest of the QS season. They’re big, powerful and good.”

Hit play above for the final episode of “The Pick Up” a Vans x Stab joint!


Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent

What’s Happening To Orange County’s Sand, And Is It Worsening The Waves At Lowers?

Read this to upgrade your understanding of your local beach break and coastal environment.

Dec 5, 2022

Here Are The 15 People Who Qualified For The 2023 CT

After seven events and much groveling, 10 men and 5 women will officially be CT…

Dec 3, 2022

An Ode To Aussie Chick Pros From The Nineties 

A celebration of stoicism, resilience, grit, core lordship, and unconditional love.

Dec 3, 2022

Update: John John Flushes Everyone Down The Haleiwa Toilet Bowl

And the CT qualifications for 2023 are set.

Dec 3, 2022


Riaru Ito Is Cooler Than His Cucumber Garden

Meet our passion pick for the Vans Pipe Masters.

Dec 2, 2022

5 New Surfers Confirmed For The Vans Pipe Masters

Who's out, who's in?

Dec 2, 2022

Unlocked: Kael Walsh, Rolo Montes, And Al Cleland Jr In ‘Saturn’

Quik’s new 20-minute surf film is so good you’ll want to burn a DVD of…

Dec 2, 2022

How Surfers Get Paid, Episode 4

The energy drinks are here. They’ve got millions of dollars, and they want your head.

Dec 2, 2022

‘Saturn’ Orbits Into Southern California

Quiksilver's newest film made landfall in Encinitas, and we were there to document the occasion.

Dec 1, 2022

The Vans Triple Crown Of Surfing Returns In 2023

Can anyone beat John Florence and Carissa Moore in a three-week window?

Dec 1, 2022

What Will Airs Look Like In 10 Years?

The final installment of our editorial exploration into the nuances of airborne surfing.

Dec 1, 2022


Can A South African Cavern Queen With No Pipeline Experience Do Well At The Vans Pipe Masters?

Sophie Bell will have a steep learning curve in Hawaii.

Nov 30, 2022

After Years Of Tragic Shark Attacks, Surf Competition Returns To Reunion Island — And A CT Event Could Follow

"We compete at J-Bay and Margarets where there's the same problem." -Johanne Defay

Nov 30, 2022


Sharing Tubes And Hummus In The Middle East’s Surfing Jewel: Israel

No Contest does Tel Aviv!

Nov 29, 2022


Joao Chianca Wants A Pipeline Rematch With JJF

And ain't afraid to ride more foam to do it in the Vans Pipe Masters.

Nov 29, 2022

An Unorthodox Marriage Of Science And Surf

Cliff Kapono and The Mega Lab are changing stereotypes on all fronts.

Nov 28, 2022


Harry Bryant Dumps Crutches, Visualizes Pipeline Pits After Snapping Leg

“For once in my life, I’m taking something a bit more serious."

Nov 27, 2022

What If You Bought This Sumatran Surf Camp For $690k?

Making a blue print out of surfing's most recurring day dream.

Nov 27, 2022